Karakol is the largest city in Yssyk-Köl Oblast, set among stunning Central Tien Shan looming above on three sides. Karakol gives easy access to Yssyk-Köl Lake, Ak-Suu, Altyn-Arashan, the fabled Karakol Valley, and the road to Inylcheck Glacier. Karakol, meaning “black wrist”, was called Przhewalsk during the Soviet period after the famous Russian explorer Nicolai Przhewalskiy, who based many of his renowned expeditions here. The Sunday Animal Bazaar is also a site to see, as locals from surrounding villages often travel all night and sometimes days to bring their livestock to the market. Opportunities for trekking from Karakol are abundant with the majestic Terskei Ala-Too Range of the Tien Shan hovering over the city. With the possibilities of 2 to 12-day treks, trekkers of every level can experience the breathtaking beauty of the Tien Shan, the crystal waters of Lake Ala-Köl, and the natural hot springs of Altyn Arashan. Hike along rocks, rivers, and passes in one of the most spectacular mountains in Kyrgyzstan. Visiting the renowned mineral springs of Altyn-Arashan, hiking up to the beautiful alpine lake Ala-Köl, getting a panoramic view of surroundings from the top of mountains, and watching the pristine nature, and wildlife.
Category: combined – auto/trekking
Duration: 3 days (optional to extend for 4 days )
Level of Difficulty: moderate to difficult, pass at 3,800 meters ASL
Best Season: mid-June – mid-September
Accommodation & meals: 1 night in the tent; 1 night in the guesthouse, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and 2 breakfasts.
Group size: any
Requirements: trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, sunscreen, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad
Remarks: Tents are available upon request
After an early breakfast transfer for Karakol gorge, meet your trekking team (porters, cook) and start 3 days of trekking Alakol. Trekking until the camping side of Sirota. Meals in the wild and camping tent.
Ascent to Kurgak-Tor, 3 000 m. Amazing views of the valley. Hiking to a beautiful Mountain Lake, called Ala-Köl (3 500 m). You will pass by two waterfalls. Hike through the Ala-Köl pass (3860 m) to the Keldyke Gorge and from the pass see the excellent panoramas of Takyr-Tor Glasier and five thousand mountain peaks of Terskey Ala-Too. Lunch after descending. Walk to the Altyn-Arashan resort, which is situated 2450 m above sea level. Camp at this wonderful place which is surrounded by magnificent rocks and from where a lot of streams begin from the glaciers. Welcoming in the guesthouse with hot springs and good dinner. (7-9 hours of trekking).
Final day easy walking down to Ak-Suu for 3 hours. Descent to the finish point and transfer to Karakol city.